In order to move forward, you’ve got to put the past behind you. That was the theme of the Friday, February 17, episode of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. As usual, some handled the drill better than others, but surprisingly, it was Amy Duggar who had the hardest time of all. The 19 Kids and Counting alum recounted her patchy history with her father, who was abusive, to say the least.
Amy Duggar Reveals Abuse
“When I was 6, my dad was watching me, and he picked me up by my throat,” she recalled. “My dad was like, ‘Amy, did you brush your teeth?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, Daddy!’ And he was like, ‘No, you didn’t,’ and he picked me up by my throat, all the way up to the ceiling, and I was scared s–tless.” That was just the tip of the dysfunctional iceberg, however.
“I’ve seen things thrown in the air. I’ve been called every name in the book. He tried to run me over with a car. It scared me out of my mind,” she revealed, noting that the worst part was never knowing “what’s going to set him off.”
She went on to say that her dad never apologizes “for anything,” and that, as a result of this trauma, she had a “hard time trusting men.” She included her husband, Dillon King, in that group, just FYI.
Speaking of her husband, he had his own trauma to deal with. “I was with a girl for three years. We lived together. Had a buddy call me, and he thought he saw my girl out with another guy,” he confessed. “I confronted her, and I found out that she was seeing another guy from work. There was so much history there, there was so much hurt, that I moved out that day.” After he moved out, the pain of the situation led Dillon to star “drinking a lot.”
Joey Gambino Might Be an Alcoholic
Dillon’s drinking paled in comparison to Renee Graziano‘s boyfriend’s drinking, though. Joey Gambino was so intoxicated during one of the exercises, in fact, that the experts, Dr. Ish and Dr. V, dismissed him without letting him complete it. Renee said she was “embarrassed” by his behavior and made it her mission to hide all of the hard liquor in the house from him, a move that Ashley Hebert fully supported.
Joey’s drinking seemed to be in direct response to Renee’s declaration that her ex-husband had raped her. Joey clearly struggled hearing that, and was having a hard time dealing with it — harder than Renee was, in fact.
J.P. Says He Was Mentally Abused
Bachelorette season 7 winner J.P. Rosenbaum said his biggest trauma was a previous relationship. “The intensity at that time was strictly psychological, emotional, mental abuse. It was just every day, not knowing who you’re going to see,” he recalled. Reflecting on why he stuck around, he admitted that he thought he could fix it. Ultimately, though, he was wrong.
“I don’t remember who walked away the last time, but I remember sitting in a movie theater, and I just burst into tears,” he said. “I was a mess. I walked out of there, I was like, ‘What the hell just happened?'” He speculated that because of this bad experience, he’d been “desensitized” to heightened emotional connections. It was probably the most self-reflective thing he’d said since arriving at boot camp. (He still refused to forgive the ex in question, though.)
Ashley, meanwhile, realized that her father’s alcoholism — and absence from her life because of it — was a major pain point in her past. “I understood why he was gone and that he was an alcoholic,” she explained before adding that she didn’t have many memories of him being around. “I spent a lot of the years just uncertain, and these days I worry about things for no reason.” She sighed and added, “I know that my anxiety is one of J.P.’s main complaints.”
Ashley Really Annoys J.P.
During a video interview later on, Ashley said, “It would be nice for J.P. to say, ‘You know, you were awesome today.'” J.P. turned to her, clearly annoyed, and asked, “Really? I don’t say how great you’re doing? I don’t say how great you’re taking care of [our son] Ford? I don’t say thank you for cleaning up? I don’t do all that?”
Ashley shrugged and said, “Well, not all the time.” J.P. didn’t like that so much. “You just made it seem like, ‘Sometimes, I wish you would do that,’ like I never do it,” he snapped.
Amy Duggar Is So Over Boot Camp
During an exercise that forced her to “face her father” (her father = Dr. Ish playing the role), Amy got super annoyed. “You make me feel like I will never be good enough,” she said to her “dad.” She started to cry as she added, “What do you want from me? I have apologized! What do you want?” She struggled to forgive him, but ultimately did. “I do forgive you. I do forgive you for all of the mean things that you said, for choking me when I was only 6. I forgive you. I know you’re broken. I know that’s why you do the things you do. That’s why I didn’t marry someone like you.”
Later that night, however, Amy lost it on Dillon in their bedroom. She stormed in, shouting, “I can’t do it!” and then demanded her husband get her out of there. To the camera, she explained that she had already forgiven her dad for the past, and she couldn’t understand why they needed to go there. “There’s no reason to bring that s–t up!” she said to Dillon. “There was no f–king reason to do that. I’m done.”
Tell Us: Were you surprised by Amy’s revelation?
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars airs on We TV Fridays at 9 p.m. ET.
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